"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Dam fun - part 2

It's so funny - blogs from America are all saying it's the 1st day of summer - where we are from it's called mid-winters day :)  The shortest day, and the longest night, means that now we are on track towards our next growing season in 2½- 3 months time...

You recall from Dam fun - part 1 that we lined the dam with bentonite in order to help retain water.  Well, over the past month we have had roughly 35mm of rain - not all in one shower, but spread over a couple of weeks.  We wondered whether the dam would be able to fill with such small amounts of water.  Thankfully, the last downfall of 25mm created sufficient to swirl the bentonite about.
25mm of rain helped
This is the state of our dam two weeks after the last rain - not full, but not empty either :)
Can you see how the water cut into
the gound - turning the bentonite
to a white swollen mass
But, do you remember the rugby posts which RMan installed in the middle of the dam?
Our local sawmill - with a stockpile of tree trunk
offcuts - the outer curved wood of the trunk,

which is no good for construction, and is just
lying there - rotting.  Being able to find a use
for this waste wood - even if it's riddled with
wood worm excavation - gladdened my heart.
 A dose of used gearbox oil will hopefully sort
out any remaining woodworm.
To complete his project we (and the every helpful trailer) made a trip to the local sawmill to relieve them of some of their tree trunk offcuts...
They very kindly planed the offcuts flat for us
... which they thoughtfully planed flat.  When they were installed, they resulted in this culmination of RMan's vision.
We have a jetty :)
A jetty :)

No, I doubt we'll be tying any type of craft to it, but it will allow us to view any water creatures who take up home in our dam (we've spotted terrapins in another dam close by) and may even assist birds to spot their next froggy meal...
A perfect size to sit on in summer and watch
the sunset whilst sipping our preferred liquid
... and will also provide the perfect spot to watch sunsets from :)  It should also help, however slightly, to prevent evapouration by casting some much needed shade on the water in summer.

And I have a feeling that MKid is going to love this jetty.  Clever RMan :)  


  1. Dani I can just picture you guys dangling your feet over the edge and smiling while gazing around at your beautiful surroundings

  2. Huzzah! I'm so glad the work you put into improving your dam is paying off! And I love the dock. Great wildlife viewing opps in your future, I hope :)

    1. Quinn - Dock as in "Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding? I always thought that was a land outcrop LOL Live and learn...

  3. oh that jetty (we call them docks!) is awesome and i just know that you are going to love having it! and dangling your dainty feet into it. and sipping some delicious South American red wine. and watching the sunset. and enjoying being alive.

    girl, that dam is awesome! i love it! your friend,

    1. kymber - Hopefuly the dam fills with enough water that we can dangle our feet into it whilst we're sipping SOUTH AFRICAN wine LOL

    2. oh woops. my bad. you know that i meant South African. i guess i wasn't yet awake - bahahahahah!

    3. kymber - LOL - know the feeling...

  4. I would definitely trade my Summer for your Winter, Dani.
    I am not a Summer girl. Thanks for your great post.

    1. Jane - Wniter hasn't hit yet, but, yeah, t'is a lot warmer and more short lived than yours :)

  5. What a beautiful dock you have there. I really like that you were able to rescue that wood that would have otherwise rotted.

    1. MsBelinda - Yeah - I'm chuffed too :)

  6. Very nice!

    The US state of Colorado has interesting laws dealing with water rights etc. I'm thinking about 'introducing' some beavers into the water-way cutting through my property. Allow them to take all the dead willows, dam it up a bit, and have a nice pond. Of course, I cannot stop the flow of water but if nature does it... Who am I to stop an ecological habitat right? ;-)

    1. TSAHG - Now that is an interesting way of creating your own dam, with minimal costs LOL

      Good luck ;)


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